Financial literacy topping Treasurer Fitch's platform
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch said there are many positive things happening right now in our state for the future of our children.
WDAM caught up with Fitch Tuesday while she was speaking at the Forrest-Lamar Republican Woman's luncheon in Lamar County and found out that financial literacy is at the top of her list.
"Financial literacy will change the financial culture of our state, which ultimately helps us empower the poverty stricken individuals, families," Fitch said. "Help empower them and lift them up."
Zeroing in on financial education, Fitch makes it her platform to start financial literacy at a young age. She created a public/private partnership called TEAM.
"Treasurer's Education About Money. It's three years strong now, we are in 400 schools across the state," Fitch said. "There's no cost, so the schools can sign up. We have trained over 1200 K-12 teachers."
Now those leaders have the information to teach financial education. Fitch said thousands of students have already participated in the TEAM classes and, on average, they have increased their knowledge on financial education by 92 percent.
"That's a game changer," Fitch said.
Another avenue of her platform is college savings.
"You may not have a substantial amount of money you can invest, but could you put up fifteen or twenty dollars a month, absolutely," Fitch said. "We have worked deliberately with our MAX and our IMPACT programs. MAX has been the affordable one that we have done differently in the past several years. We now do payroll deposits, so we can take something out of someone's check deposit and put it towards a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. It's such a win-win situation. You get a tax deduction, most importantly you're investing in a child and that child is seven times more likely to go to college."
200 million dollars is invested in the MAX program.